Why is this still an exciting time in the R+D area in Entertainment Imaging at Kodak?

Published on website: June 24, 2010
Categories: Mike Ryan , R& , D , The StoryBoard Blog

Because Kodak scientists and engineers are continuing to apply their knowledge of materials and image science to deliver innovative products with the highest image quality to assist filmmakers in delivering their creative visions. 

New digital technologies or applications abound everywhere, but there remains a continuing need for the highest quality capture medium that can enable the very best of all imaging production paths available. 

That’s why the Kodak team wasn’t satisfied to rest on the laurels of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscar recognition of the VISION2 photographic emulsion technologies.  Instead, they have continued to investigate opportunities for improving the film medium in all areas of the motion picture workflow resulting in the addition of two new films to the VISION3 family of motion picture products.

  • Launched earlier this month, the third edition to the VISION3 Color Negative portfolio, KODAK VISION3 200T 5213/7213, delivers the extended dynamic range and improved signal-to-noise characteristics that allow for greater creative flexibility. 
  • From a digital intermediate perspective, the imaging characteristics of KODAK VISION3 Color Digital Intermediate Film 5254/2254 were designed for use with all contemporary recorders, such as laser, CRT and LED, to enhance the efficiency of DI postproduction while rendering sharper images with improved color purity.

Whether it is an origination film designed to capture original scene content in various lighting conditions with improved image quality and resolution or a post production film intended to replicate the filmmakers intentions while enabling increased efficiencies in post houses and laboratories, Kodak scientists understand that product performance is driven through improvements in the smallest components of the multilayer film pack.

Nanotechnology is actually all the rage in various scientific communities, but we have been working on this scale for years at Kodak to deliver improved silver halide image capture efficiency.   Research into film technology started over 100 years old, but that doesn’t mean that state of the art advancements are not still out there waiting to be uncovered.

For example, in VISION3 200T, novel sensitization techniques featuring two independent layers of spectral sensitizing dyes on the silver halide crystals were employed to utilize more of the light that strikes the film plane in capture films.  Sounds straightforward right?  Actually, hundreds of molecular structures were designed, tested and analyzed to determine the impact on the imaging chain from photon capture through the final step of dye formation.   The final dyes were selected for our Advanced Dye Layering technology to enable marked improvements in signal-to-noise, especially in low light situations. 

For the digital intermediate film, Kodak scientists developed a new set of sensitizing dyes that mapped the peak sensitivity of the silver halide emulsions to more closely match the wavelengths generated by CRT, laser, and LED recorder light sources. Optimizing the spectral sensitivity of the film was a tremendous challenge undertaken by the development team that required numerous experimental campaigns to deliver features such as longer, linear sensitometric response and improved resolution.  Feedback from post production facilities and laboratories indicate the team delivered the necessary features for a winning product.

I could continue to go on in more detail on the rest of the technology incorporated in the new films, but I encourage you to attend the regional presentations and technical conferences where more information will be shared.  In those sessions, you’ll see that Kodak’s commitment to film innovation and the satisfaction of our film customers is unwavering.  The addition of new products to the VISION3 motion picture film platform proves that we believe in the continued viability of silver halide.  We are still investing in film technology, and there is more to come.